Posts tagged ‘pendleton woolen mills’
A heartfelt series of guest posts from our friend Greg Hatten begins this week.
March of 2014 was a deadly month in the Grand Canyon for river runners. The water level was well below average and even the most experienced boatmen saw water dynamics they had never seen before. Low water created new hazards – holes were deeper, drops were sharper, jagged rocks that rarely see sunlight punched holes in our boats and holes in our confidence.
An accomplished group of nine kayakers just a few miles ahead of us lost one of their team mates to the river below Lava Falls. There was a another serious accident in the group two days behind us midway through the trip.
Some of our wood boats were damaged, a few of our rubber rafts flipped, oars and ribs and teeth were broken, a helicopter rescue was required for a member of our team on Day 4. After 280 miles and 24 days on the water, we reached the end of the Grand Canyon and all agreed we were ready to do it again…as soon as possible.
We are a band of wood boat enthusiasts who came to the Grand Canyon in March to re-run a famous trip from 1964 with our wood dory replicas, our canvas tents and bedrolls, our Pendleton wool blankets, and a couple of great photographers to capture the adventure.
Fifty years ago, that trip played a crucial role in saving the Grand Canyon from two proposed dams that were already under construction. If THAT trip had not happened, THIS trip would not have been possible and our campsites would be at the bottom of a reservoir instead of beside the river. River running on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon would’ve been replaced by “Reservoir Running in Pontoons,” as most of the Grand Canyon would’ve been hundreds of feet under water.
We are celebrating the success of the trip of ‘64 and paying tribute to those men who left a legacy for future river runners like us to run the big water of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon in river boats. We are brought together by Dave Mortenson, whose dad was one of those pioneers.
“Who we are” is easier to answer than “Why we do this.” There are moments on trips like these, when we are at the crossroads of chaos – where adventure and wonder intersect with danger and consequence – and the outcome is uncertain. THAT’s what makes it an adventure. I can only speak for myself – but here’s my shot at answering “why…”
I do this because the Grand Canyon takes my breath away. The first time I saw it from the bottom looking up, I fell in love with this place and was absolutely amazed by the size and beauty of the canyon. Everything is bigger, deeper, taller, more colorful, more powerful, more everything than anyplace I have ever been.
I do this because the Colorado River tests my physical ability as a boatman like no other river I have ever boated. This is one of the most powerful rivers in North America and when that strong current bends the oars I’m rowing and I feel the raw force shooting up my aching arms and across my tired back, I’m electrified and anxious at the same time.
I do this because the rapids on this river test my mental ability as a boatman. My friend and veteran Canyoneer Craig Wolfson calls it “Nerve.” Scouting severe rapids and seeing the safest “line” to run is one thing – having the nerve to put your boat on that line is another. Most of the difficult rapids require a run that puts your boat inches from disaster at the entry point in order to avoid calamity at the bottom. Everything in your “experience” tells you to avoid the danger at the top – but you mustn’t. Overriding those instincts and pulling off a successful run is a mental tug of war that is challenging beyond belief.
I do this because of the bonds we form as a team of 16 individuals working and cooking and rowing and eating and drinking and laughing together for 280 miles. We problem-solve together, we celebrate together, we look out for each other, and we find a way to get along when every once-in-awhile the stress of the trip makes “some” of us a little “cranky.” Sometimes, we experience the most vulnerable moments of our lives together. These people are lifetime friends as a result of this adventure.
And finally – I do this because it brings out the best in me. My senses are better, my mind is clearer, my body is stronger and I like to think I’m friendlier, funnier, more generous, and more helpful down in the Canyon. It makes me want to be this open with people up on Rim when I get back to my regular routine. It’s hard to articulate but for me, the place is magic.
Next….. You can read in detail how we carefully “scout” and how we the run the violent rapids of the Colorado in hand-made historic wooden boats made of ¼” plywood. If we make a mistake we pay a heavy price – which you will see in “Running A Rapid.”
Finally…. You can read about camp life on the Colorado. What it’s like to sleep in the canyon for a month. How we cook, clean, relax, and get re-charged for a challenging day on the river. There are beautiful night-time shots for you to enjoy in “Camp in the Canyon.”
When we opened our store at the Portland International Airport, we partnered with the Port of Portland, which oversees our city’s commerce by river, rail, road and plane. The airport location has given us a wonderful opportunity to share our very-Oregon brand with the rest of the country as it passes through PDX (which is what we call our airport, for you out-of-towners). The Port recognized our association with the Port of Portland 2014 Compass Award at the recent “Tradition of Trade” annual luncheon.
The award recognizes the personal efforts of our company’s president, Mort Bishop, as well as Pendleton’s corporate support and involvement. Said Port Commission Vice President Paul Rosenbaum, “Like the points of a compass, their business partnership and confidence in local operations have helped us navigate and achieve key Port goals such as job creation and environmental stewardship.”
During the award presentation, Mr. Rosenbaum cited Pendleton as one of Oregon’s heritage enterprises, and applauded our focus on building positive relationships with Oregon’s tribal community—the original founders of trade in the Northwest. “Mort and his family have led the Pendleton enterprise for six generations,” said Mr. Rosenbaum. “Pendleton’s rich American heritage and deep roots in the Pacific Northwest is a source of pride for all Oregonians.”
Company president Mort Bishop accepted the Compass Award on behalf of Pendleton Woolen Mills. In his words, “100 years ago, there were over 1,000 woolen mills in this country. Today we operate two of only a handful that survive – Washougal and Pendleton. Our facilities are state of the art, providing American jobs, utilizing sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices, employing world class technology. Pendleton uses some of the world’s finest wool fleeces from right here in Oregon…from generations of the same ranch families for over 100 years. When you buy a Pendleton, you are literally and metaphorically buying the fabric of Oregon.”
More than 500 business leaders, elected officials and community stakeholders attended this year’s Gateway to the Globe luncheon. It was quite an event, and the Compass Award is quite an honor.
Calgary Stampede Indian Princess Carly Weasel Child has been having an exciting year. Here she is on a shoot for Avenue magazine at the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park on the Siksika Reserve, where Carly is from. She’s wearing a dress made by Janine’s Custom Creations with Pendleton wool.
Well, we have no rabbits. No rabbits, no hares, not a bunny in sight. But we do have some newly-arrived stuffed friends who could hop into anyone’s heart.
First, there’s Hamilton Bear, made of our own non-toxic and washable wool. He’s a little guy with a lot of personality.
Then, there’s Yuji Bear in two colors; a wild and wooly fellow if there ever were one.
They join the usual cast of characters that includes Chauncey Bear and Franklin Horse at pendleton-usa.com. And they’d love to be in a basket!
Have a wonderful holiday.
Pattern mixing can be subtle, daring, or just plain fun. Here are some celebrities doing the complicated work of mixology.
Of course, it helps to have personal stylists. Here are some stylists and bloggers who work their patterns perfectly.
Give you any ideas? We hope so. We’re mixing it up for Spring at http://www.pendleton-usa.com; tweed with polka dots, plaids with our very-Pendleton Native-inspired patterns.
We’re just a little bit crazy for these images shot by PONYBOY featuring Luke Ditella in vintage Pendleton wool shirts. Luke is a surfer (read about him at The Surfer’s View ) who works with Click Models NY.
As the magazine says, “We were pleased to feature Luke, and his rugged good-looks worked so well for this story.” He models an array of classic Pendleton plaids from tartan to exploded to ombre to check to glen to windowpane, shown tucked into high-waisted vintage wool dress slacks.
And, he wears a solid wool shirt reminiscent of the Tony shirt we have at pendleton-usa.com this spring.
Based on the plaids and lengths of the collar points, we see shirts from nearly every decade we’ve been making wool shirts in our nine decades of quality shirtmaking. Check out our Instagrams tagged #pendleton9decades to see some of the recreated shirts we’re doing this fall to celebrate. And you can follow Luke’s Instagram at LUKEDITELLA.
See the full Ponyboy feature here with many more shirts.
When Ty Bennet sent us photos of this beauty, we were impressed by this beautiful Packard.
According to Ty, we were looking at the following: 1948 Packard 8 Station Wagon Woodie Woody. Restored. Excellent condition. Lexington Green Metallic paint. Powerful and Smooth Straight 8 engine.
High Speed rear gear for modern touring. Plaid highlander style interior. Real Wood Northern Birch rails over maple panels. Burl wood grained dashboard and door trim. Radial wide white wall tires. Ready for Summer touring.
Ty sent nice photos of the exterior, and this car has beautiful lines and trim.
But here’s a little more visual information on the interior of the car:
Yes, that is very definitely a Pendleton fabric, a traditional tartan. We’ve worked with truck and car companies on co-branded interiors in the past, but we don’t have any information on this particular car.
Our president, Mort Bishop III, shed some light. He explained, “I am not aware of this project for Mr. Disney. However with our Pendleton exhibit and store in Frontierland we worked closely with Mr. Disney…Pendleton was one of the 3 original lessees in the park when it opened. It would not surprise me that we provided fabric to him for his Packard.”
This car is labeled as part of a Frontierland exhibit, so we don’t know if it was driven much, or just displayed. Perhaps some of our fans might have old photos of this car on display?
Ty sold the car to a private party at auction. Someone has a nice touring vehicle!
Our friend Greg Hatten is back on the river and we will have great footage to share soon. He’s traveling old-school in a hand-built wooden drift boat, camping under the stars with a Pendleton blankets.
In Greg’s words:
Last year we honored the historic 1962 river trip on the Grand Canyon by replicating the boats (the Portola & the Susie Too) and the trip in every possible detail. We took thousands of pics, and NW Documentaries shot hours of video.
Guess what? We are doing it again…. we received a special use permit to return to the canyon and replicate the 1964 trip which was one of the most significant in the life of the Grand Canyon. It was on this trip, led by Martin Litton in the Portola and PT Riley in the Susie Too and accompanied by the leading environmentalists of the day, that writers, photographers, videographers, and poets captured the story of the Grand Canyon was captured, romanced, and publicized globally. This put a STOP to the impending congressional vote on the Southwest Water Plan which would have authorized several dams and turned the Colorado River into a “trickle” – destroying the Grand Canyon National Park.
Today, those boats are known as “the boats that saved the Canyon” and that trip – which resulted in the book Time and the River Flowing by Francois Leydet and the short film “Living Water, Living Canyon” by David Brower and the Sierra Club are credited with preserving one of our National treasures.
Ah, the serape. Just looking at it makes you happy. This blanket reads modern, but it has been around a long time.
The serape’s roots are in the Mexican weaving tradition, but it is now common to both Spanish and Native American textiles. Here’s a photo of a Native family in a historic Babbitt Brothers wagon with a serape peeking over the edge. This was taken in the Southwest, where the Babbitts plied (and still ply) their trade.
Colorful, sturdy and functional, this blanket shawl was part of life in the traditional Mexican home. It could serve as clothing, bedding and shelter!
The serape is known by many names throughout Mexico, including chamarro, cobiga, and gaban. It can be woven of a variety of materials and patterns but is generally lighter in weight. Different regions use different palettes, from the elegant neutrals of the Mexican highlands to the bold gradients of Coahuila.
Pendleton’s serapes are woven of 82% wool/18% cotton in bands of gradient colors to achieve that beautiful eye-popping dimensional effect. This is your perfect spring and summer blanket, just waiting to be invited along wherever you go.
All made in the USA and available at www.pendleton-usa.com .